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UF projecting $50 million revenue loss for 2020-21 school year

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin is dealing with financial issues brought on by COVID-19.

With the anticipation of limited capacity in The Swamp this fall due to COVID-19, the University Athletic Association is projecting a revenue loss of $50 million for the 2020-21 academic year.

That projection was made in an email recently sent to UF season ticket holders asking for their help in softening the inevitable financial losses during the pandemic.

“We are asking you, as our most loyal and invested Gators, to consider allowing some of your 2020 football season ticket and contribution balance to be converted into a Gator Boosters donation through the Gators Marketplace,” the email reads.

“To show our deep appreciation, those who donate will receive 5 priority points for each $100 you contribute. Or, you can convert your contribution to a 100 percent tax deductible gift.”

The UAA also is offering three other options:

• Redeeming all or some of your balance for one-of-a-kind items and experiences, including deep sea fishing with men's basketball coach Mike White, sitting with the HBC (Steve Spurrier) at a football game, video chatting with Coach Dan Mullen, and team-issued gear. Choosing one of these items or experiences, you’re letting UF know you won’t be attending any games this season and will not be included in the seating plan.

• Rolling over your 2020 balance to 2021.

• Requesting a refund for your 2020 balance.

At this stage, UF does not have a seating plan because it has yet to make a determination on what the stadium capacity will be for games. Multiple other SEC schools have announced capacities at between 20% and 25%.

UF athletic director Scott Stricklin said last month that UF’s likely would be between 15% to 25% for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which has a capacity of 88,548. That would mean crowds of around 20,000 or less for each game.

That adds up to the projected loss of $50 million in revenue, which would impact all 21 of UF’s sports teams.

Football, of course, is the big money-maker that helps fund the many non-revenue programs. In the last fiscal year, football produced $87,450,485 in operational revenue to go along with $39,499,66 in expenses for a profit of $47,950,819.

Men’s basketball was the only other UF program to make a profit, bringing in $2,455,291 in 2019. UF’s 19 other programs, which traditionally generate limited or no revenue, finished the year $33,528,175 in the red.